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Old 30-08-2011, 16:12   #16
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

IMHO the best rig is a sloop with a self-tacking blade jib on a furler and a light air sail on a furler ahead of the jib. Having owned a cutter I would not own one again. Too much work unless you only tack or jibe once a day. If you need a storm sail, put a removable inner forestay on the sloop to hank on a storm jib.

No matter where you sail, you will be sailing in 5-10 knots of breeze much more often than you will be sailing in 35-40+ knots. If you sail in 40+ knots alot, then get a cutter rigged ketch.
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Old 30-08-2011, 16:44   #17
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

I have to weigh on the side of a cutter if it is a true cutter. That places the mast somewhat further aft than a sloop that has had a baby-stay inserted and a small staysail rigged.

For cruising I have spent more time with a single- or double-reefed main and staysail than any other combination. When you reduce sail to this level on a cutter all of the sails are brought in closer to the center of the boat, providing better balance than a sloop with a small jib way out front.

If the cutter is rigged properly then the staysail and the jib can be flown at the same time upwind, with the low pressure on the back side of the staysail creating a draft through the slot that actually increases performance. This requires a good understanding of how the leads need to be rigged and the sails trimmed.

For tacking if both sails are up then the jib slides over the staysail and there isn't much issue. Problems arise when sailing with jib/genny alone, and you have to get the sail past the staysail stay. Having a hanked on staysail and removable stay makes that easier, but we have tended to just deal with the problem and walk the sail around in light air.

So, if the mast is far enough aft to allow a usefully sized staysail then I would heartily recommend it. If the staysail is really just being inserted in the foretriangle of a sloop then not so much.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:21   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril
I have to weigh on the side of a cutter if it is a true cutter. That places the mast somewhat further aft than a sloop that has had a baby-stay inserted and a small staysail rigged.

For cruising I have spent more time with a single- or double-reefed main and staysail than any other combination. When you reduce sail to this level on a cutter all of the sails are brought in closer to the center of the boat, providing better balance than a sloop with a small jib way out front.

If the cutter is rigged properly then the staysail and the jib can be flown at the same time upwind, with the low pressure on the back side of the staysail creating a draft through the slot that actually increases performance. This requires a good understanding of how the leads need to be rigged and the sails trimmed.

For tacking if both sails are up then the jib slides over the staysail and there isn't much issue. Problems arise when sailing with jib/genny alone, and you have to get the sail past the staysail stay. Having a hanked on staysail and removable stay makes that easier, but we have tended to just deal with the problem and walk the sail around in light air.

So, if the mast is far enough aft to allow a usefully sized staysail then I would heartily recommend it. If the staysail is really just being inserted in the foretriangle of a sloop then not so much.
We have a true cutter rig on our 44' cat and love our staysail. Agree with all that Dsanduril has to say. The staysail helps us tack finer (35 to 40 degrees off) gets an extra knot when tacking and provides great peace of mind. As soon as the wind gets over 20 knots we furl the genoa and pull on the furling staysail. Tacking on a partly furled genoa is not good. Bad sail shape, bad stresses on the furler, poor sailing angle - forget it and use your staysail.
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:02   #19
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

Please consider this...Is your vessel truly a cutter or a sloop with an inner forestay? A cutters mast is almost 1/2 way back, whereas a sloops is about 1/3 way back.
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:09   #20
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

seems to be little mention of running backstays, my equivalent to the flu for shorthanded sailing. Never seen a sloop with an inner forestay and running backstays, and never seen a true cutter without. Id opt for without anyday.
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:42   #21
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

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Originally Posted by Gracies View Post
seems to be little mention of running backstays, my equivalent to the flu for shorthanded sailing. Never seen a sloop with an inner forestay and running backstays, and never seen a true cutter without. Id opt for without anyday.
Mine's a "true" cutter and doesn't have running backstays.

Rich
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:47   #22
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

I'm enjoying the discussion here, despite being a sloopster.

In my mind, a true cutter flies a yankee and a staysail. Equally, I think of a genoa as a sloop sail, not a cutter sail.

Am I wrong?
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:49   #23
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

Just googled your 38. True it doesnt have running backstays but how swept back are the spreaders? You must have something to counter the extra forces on the rig??
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Old 30-08-2011, 21:30   #24
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Mine's a "true" cutter and doesn't have running backstays.

Rich
It doesn't need them because it has a pair of fixed aft lowers on each side. I know that one is attached to the spreader base - not sure how much farther up the other goes. They do the job of runners. The spreaders on those boats are quite high and would be about 3/4 of the inner forestay height. The aft lowers have more effect on the inner forestay than on many other boats, especially ones with two pairs of spreaders.

The downside is that the shape of the inner forestay is fixed giving less control over the staysail/solent.

Just for the record Gracies, the spreaders on a standard rigged Cabo Rico 38 are in line. I guess cabo_sailor's boat is standard factory rig. I can't tell from the avatar.
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:02   #25
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post

In my mind, a true cutter flies a yankee and a staysail. Equally, I think of a genoa as a sloop sail, not a cutter sail.
i was thinking the same thing but giving my knowledge of cutters is purely academic i dont knwo what is actually / practically the case.

there is also a financial component as i have a genoa and mail but the jib is junk so i have to replace 1 sail. if i can use the genoa as the yankee and replace the stay and only have to buy 1 new sail.

as opposed to buying a yankee and stay.

given she is a total refit the few thousand i dont spend on a 2nd sail can be the sole or battery bank or any one of 45873598437593759379 other things.
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:17   #26
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

Last boat had a removable staysail stay.

In light air I would stow in near forward shroud. Easy tacking my 120%

In higher winds would fly staysail. If wind lowered, I could unroll the genny. Wind back up, roll genny back in.

Usually kept the stay rigged unless I knew I had considerable tacking to do. I could tack headsail with the stay in-place, but was a minor pain in ass to accomplish.

If using a roller furler on head, a staysail gives more options. If hanked-on headsails, would have other sail options so that staysail would not so desirable IMHO.
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:22   #27
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Please consider this...Is your vessel truly a cutter or a sloop with an inner forestay? A cutters mast is almost 1/2 way back, whereas a sloops is about 1/3 way back.
I don't think the difference is near this big between sloop and cutter. Maybe 1 or 2 feet further back for the mast for "true cutter".

But I ain't no naval architect.
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:23   #28
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

My advice as the absolute basics would be to use the 130% genoa for downwind work and then get a tall slim jib cut especially for upwind sailing. Mine is mitre cut. You will find this jib with a compatible staysail is a really nice easy to handle combination that you will use a lot more than you expect.

One thing I would be checking is if you can fold/flake the big Genoa onboard. Otherwise you need to get a cover made so you can get it out of the way and out of the sun easy.
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Old 30-08-2011, 22:25   #29
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
I don't think the difference is near this big between sloop and cutter. Maybe 1 or 2 feet further back for the mast for "true cutter".

But I ain't no naval architect.
It depends on the boat. If you look at a Tayana 37, it is clearly dead center.
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Old 30-08-2011, 23:55   #30
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Re: Sloop vs Cutter

I wasn't trying to be extremely specific by using "true cutter", more just trying to describe the difference in the size of the foretriangle, but there is a distinction. And that distinction has changed over time. Initially a cutter described a job function for the boat, then it came to define a hull shape associated with those boats, then the double headsail rig (generally with the outer jib set on a removable stay from the bowsprit), then the modern "definition", which seems to be a general consensus of a mast set back about 50% of the boat length or sail plan length.

There's an old woodenboat forum that discusses this in some detail. For those boats that are close to a sloop in terms of mast placement, but have two headsails, they suggested the term "slutter". I always kind of liked the ring of that.

As to running backstays, I see that at least two of us here who really love our cutter rigs are multihullers. On our boats the running backs generally lead to the outside edge of the boat, and are therefore far enough out that we don't need to play with them when tacking - they are far enough outboard that the downwind running back doesn't chafe (much) on the main even if it is left snugged up. I have sailed monohull cutters as well (I still like the versatility), and the running backs can increase the work load when beating.
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